What’s It Going To Take? A Pastor’s Plea To Affirm LGBT

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You are a good person, perhaps a Christian. Maybe even a leader or a pastor. Your heart is to follow Jesus and to be faithful to His purposes. The important things you are accomplishing for the cause of Christ haven’t gone unnoticed. You’re living out your faith with noble intentions from the framework of your experience, understanding, and conviction.

Yet, there are issues in life that change the course of history, starting with the challenging of our own creeds and spiritual assumptions. The gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender realities being one of those, especially within Christian circles.

For some, you are familiar with terms like LGBT. Others, your awareness is more centered on homosexuality in contrast to heterosexuality. When it comes to sexual and gender manifestations, there is a large expanse. It’s complicated stuff, with lots of moving parts. All of us having a certain level of understanding, if nothing more than how charged, difficult, costly, and controversial these issues can be.

Maybe you have already drawn your conclusions, carved a line in the sand. It’s all an abomination. The clear teachings of the Bible make it perfectly clear. Any other theological landing point is a slippery slope to hell. Nothing is going to move you, sway you, or alter your view.

That was me. The pastor who could look out upon a congregation. With no restraint, no hesitation, no pumping of the breaks. Telling those gathered in my polished preacher’s voice, it’s all a sin and unless met with repentance, every last one of them are on a fast track to hell. Gladly receiving the high-fives from those who agreed.

Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. I understand exactly where you are at.

Maybe you are questioning. It’s all a bit fuzzy to you. You see both sides, swinging from one end to the other. Looking down at the fall between the two trapeze. To grasp for the other side, making the leap, the blood wells up in your head, your breath is constricted in horror. You gaze ahead to the relational dominoes that would crash to the floor if people knew just the doubts you were having, let alone the new position you might be taking. The deconstruction of your faith, the footings of your creed. If only it would all just go away. Indecision, straddling the fence. It’s all too much. So, you just keep swinging.

That was me. The pastor trying to stand for everything, and therefore standing for nothing, and with no one. Lukewarm and loving it.

Been there, done that. The middle ground is the lowest ground.

Maybe deep within, you believe in God’s affirming heart for LGBT people. You have studied it out, covered the chalkboard with new equations, new summations, new conclusions. Like Nicodemus, in the dark of night, you have come to Jesus. Learned His heart. Yet, it’s your secret stance. Only known by you, perhaps a few others. Adding up the costs, the conversations to take place, the meetings to meet with, the look in people’s eyes, the locking of their wallets, the removal of their memberships. The de-friending, the demonizing, the de-humanizing. The firing, the resigning, the transitioning. The tally on the receipt, the numbers that result… it’s too much. The cost is just too much.

That was me. The pastor, who with money he didn’t have, planted a church, starting with seven people. Nurtured it, fed it, changed its diapers. Knowing full well, just a year in, if people knew my true heart, it might die. I could lose everything. Friendships, family, systems that held me together, clients in my bi-vocational work.

But then, the awakening. Truth. Jesus. God’s heart.

Christian, do you realize the spiritual, emotional, and physical torture LGBT people experience, almost exclusively at the hands of our Christianity? Thousands of gay and lesbian people commit suicide every year. Others, walk a daily living hell of discrimination, hate, bullying, violence, abuse, marginalization, and condemnation. A staggering 41% of transgender people attempt suicide because of societal non-acceptance.

Certainly, that has to bother you, at least register a blip on your radar screen, does it not?  No, maybe it’s not happening in your leather-bound, steeple-topped world, but it’s happening in God’s world. And quite frankly, He’s pissed and so am I.

Can you even begin to imagine what’s that like? Every moment of every day, dehumanized and demonized. A breath among them is rarely taken without a whiff of pungent bigotry stinging every fiber of their being, burning clear down to their souls.

Folks, this is disgusting, outrageous, and dripping with pure evil. And who are the ones leading this frontal of death towards the LGBT community?

Christians, that’s who.

Do you realize the Bible, particularly in regards to LGBT, isn’t nearly as clear as you think it is? It’s not the slam dunk we have swallowed as truth. There is only one Word of God, Jesus. The rest our words about God requiring deep contextualization, discernment, and evaluation. Those six verses that we cling to, seemingly condemning LGBT people, are at best a house of cards. We’re slinging marshmallows, arming them are missiles.

But chances are, you won’t hear any of that. The fingers in our ears feel safer. The reality that you, and a whole spiritual system within Christianity could be completely wrong, is perhaps just too much for your pride and faith arrogance to compute. So excuse me, if while you smoke your unnatural cigarettes, sign your unnatural divorce papers, and stuff your faces with all kinds of unnatural, I get a little smirk on my face when you try to get all Bible on me, preaching to me how “unnatural” those LGBT people are.

I know. You think from where you sit, it’s your job to tell the LGBT community the error of their ways, the consequences of their choices. Eternity is in the balance. Sadly, that’s what love looks like to you. But that’s not what Jesus looked like to anybody. You are going to have to re-image Him into a vehicle of your own agenda to arrive at a spiritual license for your condemnation, judgement, self-righteousness, and hate. Sure, you can proof-text a couple passages into compliance, but you’ll never contextualize Jesus and justify that evil prowess.

Christian, do you realize, the LGBT community is not a manifestation of choice or decay, but of God’s delighted design. They didn’t sign up for this like a gym membership. There is no upgrade God is downloading, a change that God is desiring. He didn’t make a mistake. There is nothing to improve, overcome, or revamp.

These are human people. Living, heart-beating, lung-expanding, emotion-feeling people. Beautifully and wonderfully made by the artistry of the Master.

But perhaps that river of revelation hasn’t flowed to the banks of your spirituality. Why? Because you haven’t listened, you haven’t truly befriended, you haven’t humbly sat at the feet of the LGBT community, washing, serving, beholding. You haven’t looked into the eyes of their soul, stood under waterfall of their struggles, internalized their suffering. And therefore, you have missed Jesus, the Living Water, right within your midst. You have become the very people who have received Him not. Leaving your mind, your heart, your faith unchanged, hardened by your unwillingness to repent in response to the kindness, goodness, and holiness of God created in every LGBT person.

The Holy Spirit is charging into the temple of our Christianity, flipping the tables, revealing the truth that in the spiritual x-ray of all that is LGBT, we are in fact the cancer, we are the sin, we are the abomination… not them. And most tragic of all, the wages of our sin has become their death. The wages of our ignorance, the wages of our silence, the wages of our complacency. The wages of our bench sitting, comfort idolizing, spiritual pride, and cowardice… everyday, becomes their death.

Whoever you are, wherever you are at, I am not asking you to go against your conscience, but for Christ’s sake, I am asking you to open your conscience to the transformation of the Holy Spirit.

For the love of God, listen to your heart, listen to the voice of Jesus.

If God, in scripture, affirms the wild donkey that serves no redeeming purpose, the Ostrich that sucks at parenting. Just because they breathe, He pours at His full delight and pride. How much more does He affirm all of humanity, His best idea, one-of-a-kind created in His image? That’s reason enough for the God of the universe to love unconditionally, affirm unlimitedly… just because we breathe.

What’s it going to take?

How many more LGBT people have to commit suicide, begging for life to end? How many more LGBT people have to crawl through this living Hell, tasting the ever constant spit of Satan upon their face as he uses Christians to mouthpiece his declaration that God hates them. How many more LGBT people have to breathe their last, foaming from the mouth in the stranglehold of bullies and bigots? How many more parents of LGBT have to weep until their eyes bleed. Fearing for their children’s lives. Closing the drapes, curling up into the fetal position, all but giving up. How many more LGBT souls condemned, lives destroyed, families broken apart, faiths unraveled? How many more LGBT people have to die at the altar of our Christianity?

What’s it going to take?

But what about my reputation, what about my congregation, what will my family and friends say?

I say to you, who gives a shit? Don’t you get it? Lives are at stake. This is not a joke. We Christians have gotten this completely, emphatically wrong. Search you soul, deep down, you know you have tasted the poison we are pimping as fruit.

While you are dreaming of your future, keeping your ministry aspirations alive, holding on for a life of financial security, family peace, and basic hopes and comforts. There is a whole group of LGBT people dreaming they don’t wake up tomorrow, praying on their hands and knees to die. That’s their dreams.

For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. He went the distance, risked everything, did whatever it took. What was the joy? The full affirmation, the full salvation of all, you and me, just as we are, beautifully and wonderfully made. One and done on the cross. You don’t die for that which you don’t first love and affirm.

So I ask you, what is the object of your joy? Is it your wallet, your pay check, your church attendance, your friendships, family, reputation, ministry? Is that the ultimate, deepest object of your joy?

For Jesus, it was the least of these. The broken, the marginalized, the condemned, the hurting, the discarded, the bullied. Those drifting in the sea of injustice.

Isn’t that enough for you? The life, the wellbeing of a mutual, human being. Their dignity, their divinity?

What’s it going to take? Tell me. I’ll write, pay it, do it.

Your affirmation of what God already has, could be the difference-maker in a life. Hope where there was no hope. Changing everything.

Desmond Tutu said it this way…

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

James, the brother of Jesus said it this way…

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Jesus said it this way…

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

What’s it going to take?

For some, it’s already too late.

But for others, before it’s too late… I beg you, affirm what God already has.

Grace is brave, be brave.

Affirm.

73 Comments

  1. What’s it going to take for me to believe something unbiblical? Nothing. I have looked at it every way I can, researched and prayed about it, and still come to the same conclusion – Sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin.

    Does the Church and Christians need to love those and in the LGBT? Without question. We need to a better job of just loving people, serving people. At a soup kitchen I serve at I see many people make life decisions I disagree with but I have learned to simply love them where they are at and let God work in their heart. It is possible to disagree with the choices people make (and I don’t mean people choose who they are attracted too just what they do with that attraction) but love them and serve them.

    The suicide rate breaks my heart and I wish I could tell each of those people how precious they are. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything they do, heck there’s probably things I do they would disagree with, but I love them. More importantly God loves them.

    • What is it going to take for some to look at scripture and realize that interpretation may not be what they think it means? To take culture into account when it comes to searching the scriptures? Maybe what you hold fast to as being biblical isn’t quite right? It took the attempted suicide of my transgender child to open my eyes and begin reading, researching, and praying about LGBTQ issues – and lo and behold I discovered so much more. It’s not black and white. And I believe in a God big enough to take care of it all. I believe He loves my trans child just the way she is and created her this way. When are the rest of us going to wake up and say, gee, maybe our beliefs and attitudes contribute to the suicide and violence rates against these people? If it breaks your heart so much, what are you doing to show them God’s love? News flash: your first paragraph speaks much louder to the LGBTQ community than your last one.

      • Thank you Georgii, I know from personal experience that you may have chosen otherwise but you chose a path of humility and reverence and your daughter has reaped the reward. May God richly bless you both!

      • Say what you will Georgii, I didn’t say anything that wasn’t in scripture and everything I said was in love. If you twist a sinister meaning out of that, there’s nothing I can say to you and we might as well end discussion on this. If you have something new for me to look at, please show me. In everything I search for God’s stance on things, not mine. I have seen all of the arguments, the one’s Chris made, and many more, and they are lacking. Sure there’s ton’s of appeal to emotion, but that’s not enough. When all of the evidence is weighed, there is no doubt that sex outside of marriage between one man and one is sin. You’re allowed to disagree with me. I’m OK with that.

        I am truly sorry for what your child is going and has gone through. Of course God loves them and everyone struggling with whatever they are struggling with.

        • Shane, ugly, harmful things, no matter how much “love” you think you are saying them in, are still ugly and hurtful. You need to read Torn by Justin Lee : http://www.amazon.com/Torn-Rescuing-Gospel-Gays-vs-Christians-Debate-ebook/dp/B0076DFG5S
          If you’re truly interested in learning, you will read this book with an open mind. I challenge you to have more faith that God would not have made these people this way only to have them suffer. Trust that God doesn’t need your help policing their “sin”or telling them anything “in love”. Invite them to God’s table, and love them, and the rest will take care of itself – Jesus was very clear on that. I believe that if you truly believe in a loving God, and if you believe that Jesus was sent here to show us the way to a relationship with God, that you will not see any way you can deny that these people whom God made in His own image should be welcome at the table.

          • We all suffer. Sometimes because of nothing we do wrong, sometimes because of things we do wrong, sometimes because of things others do wrong. There are countless reasons why people suffer, that is part of God’s plan for us. We are here to learn that we CAN control our bodies and we CAN change, we just need to learn that we must have faith in Christ and do His will to gain the power to affect that change. I know that is not what you or probably anyone in the LGBTQ community reading this thread want to hear but it is the truth. Hard to swallow for those who want to change because it is very difficult, but impossible to swallow for those who really don’t want to change.

          • Jenn, call me dense, but I’m not sure what is ugly or harmful about what I wrote. I simply put what has been confirmed by scholars and the Church for millennia, and I would argue it is the correct, biblical stance. This is applied not just to people having sexual relations with the same gender, but guys and girls shacking up together, polyamorous relationships, and people having, multiple spouses.

            Chris’ post asked a question to people with my belief system and I answered it. I do not make a habit of policing sin but answered the question, yes, in love. Of course all are welcomed at God’s table. They don’t need my permission.

          • God did not make them that way. God made creation perfect and MAN fell in his disobedience. The DEVIL is KING OF THE WORLD and responsible for the entropy in the system of God’s perfect love. Any doctrine must first be filtered through the cross and scripture. We are to be worshipers in spirit AND in truth.

          • Thank you SWJenn for recommending “Torn”. I am reading it now and find it very compelling. It seems that when you put a human face on an issue you see the issue somewhat more clearly. I would appreciate any more suggestions for reading.

        • I didn’t say you twisted anything or were sinister. The problem comes with assuming your translation and understanding of scripture is the only one – the correct one. Your first three sentences – about believing something to be unbiblical – that’s what I was referring to. If you want the LGBTQ community to believe you really do love them, as you stated in your final paragraph, perhaps starting with the assumption that only your understanding of scripture is correct is going to cause problems.

          Of course we can disagree. But to say it’s unbiblical is what is so upsetting to those with whom you disagree. You are saying you are right, we are wrong, and in telling us we are wrong you are also saying we are unbiblical, and that is just really not true.

          And honestly, unless you have gone through it, until you have a child who goes through it, you cannot understand. I hope you never have to, but I do hope you can allow others to believe a bit differently without calling us unbiblical. I hope you can continue to pray and seek Him. It’s all any of us can do.

          Please consider reading this sermon given by a transgender priest on the Transgender Day of Remembrance a few years ago. http://www.shannontlkearns.com/transgender-day-remembrance/ Thank you.

          • That’s the thing, Georgi. It’s not MY translation or MY understanding of scripture. It’s the translations and understanding that have been used and approved by the Church, every denomination, for many centuries. So, again, I’m not sure the problem you have with me stating what has been the position for quite a long time. It’s not about what I think is right or wrong, but what God thinks. To say that I think YOU, or any LGBT person or their supporter, is unbiblical is just plain wrong. The actions taken, ie. sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman, and your position may be unbibical but each person is loved by God and amazing and beautiful.

            There is a huge difference between having same sex attractions and acting out on them. And I would venture to say that the transgender feelings and issues is difficult and comes with their own set of difficulties, but that is far from “unbiblical”. Thanks for the link to the sermon. I read it and it is very sad what other people put each other through. There is no excuse for that. Some one had mentioned Sam Allberry so I looked him up. He’s a gay christian with a very different take on things. I suggest you look at his website, or the one he’s associated with. It’s not about trans issues, like it sounds like you’re child is dealing with, but may be interesting. The site is http://www.livingout.org/

          • But isn’t it, Shane? I mean, for centuries the church thought slavery was condoned by the Bible, right? So it really is your translation – believing things because it’s been believed for years. But we don’t think owning slaves is right – or that women can no longer speak in church, do we? Why do you think the church can’t possibly be wrong about homosexuality? Why can’t we look at this like Ken Wilson suggests in his book, and treat this as a disputable matter? All are welcome at the Lord’s Table. At least they should be, but they aren’t.

            And what about the mystery of God? His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, Isn’t it entirely possibly that no one understands His word completely? That He continues to reveal things to us? I didn’t just change my beliefs on a whim. It was years of praying and seeking Him and pleading with Him. One of my friends made a statement like, No one has sought the heart of the Lord more than a mom with an LGBTQ child.

            I would recommend Ken Wilson’s book A Letter to My Congregation, visiting the website of Grace Point Church, reading things by David Gushee, Julie Rodgers, Ken Wilson, Justin Lee and the Gay Christian Network. I will look at the website you shared, too. Thank you for sharing.

          • No,Georgi, it is not my translation. The issue of slavery and homosexual marriage are apples and oranges. I don’t believe anything because it’s been believed for years but it’s also something to take into consideration, one of the many things. When I look into a subject, whether it’s things like Sabbath observance, Pedobaptisim, dietary laws, or homsexuality, I look at it from every side I can. I look at the arguments until I can’t find anything new then I make decision, with guidance from the Holy Spirit. As far as homosexual marriage goes, I haven’t seen anything new in a while and everything continually points to sex outside of marriage one man and one woman as sin. I believe the burden of proof is on those who challenge this tradition and view point and I have found them lacking except when it comes to emotional appeal, and that should never be the only reason used to change ones mind.

            I would absolutely agree that no one completely understands the Lord. I don’t doubt that you have come to your beliefs through much prayer and petition to the Lord and have your reasons. For me to see something that is obvious sin as something that is not sin will take only God. I believe there’s a middle ground where sin is not glorified but LGBT people are not vilified. I’ll look into Ken Wilson’s book. Thanks!

        • Straight and wide is the road that leads to destruction and many follow it. But narrow is the way to life and Jesus is that way. Read the Gospels over-and-over and you will never once see Jesus condemning anyone but showing love and acceptance. He said to love others as he has loved us. He even said to love your enemies. Jesus is only recorded chastising the religious leaders and zealots of His day. Jesus said that if you look at a woman with lust you are guilty of adultry, if you call your brother a fool you are guilty of murder of the heart. James wrote that if you even lie you are guilty of breaking the whole law. Paul states that he still sins and John wrote that if you say you do not sin you are a Liar and make God out to be a Liar. One white lie makes you every bit the sinner as any LGBT member is. The commandment we have is Love for Love fulfills the law. Anyone who wants to condemn, judge, or shun a member of the LGBT community is guilty of breaking the law. Will you choose to Love as Jesus has loved or will you stay on the straight wide road that many religious leaders and scholars stayed on for over 2,000 years since Jesus walked Earth and showed us God love?

      • Well said Georgii! I get that people can be fearful taking that first step to question if what they have believed all these years is correct. I just wish more people would be open to that possibility .

        • MVAA: Shalom b’Yeshua HaMashiach!

          Sir or Ma’am, please forgive me if in my refutation of your statements I sound blunt and harsh. I intend no personal affront to you, but rather to what you wrote.

          Your attitude, as presented on a page, is the exact same meaningless rhetoric foisted upon members of the LBGT community nationwide, even globally, but especially within the Trans community. Parroting the Sunshine and Blue Sky doctrine is more useless than saying nothing at all. Your conviction that a person can change if they just have enough faith are often the last words a Trans child hears before they step in front of a speeding semi or blow their brains all over the ceiling with Daddy’s shotgun. To try to smooth the violent tempests inside a Trans person with hollow, cliched toss-offs which do nothing but increase the hideously soul-crushing guilt a Transperson feels and couch your accusations in nice-guy tones only exacerbates the agony of rejection that Transperson feels already

          I know this because I am a celibate Transsexual woman who loves our Savior with all my heart, and I have heard those throw-away sentences too many times to count. In fact, before kicking me out of his Pentecostal congregation, my former minister hurled those very words at me: “If you just have enough faith, you’ll be healed of this wicked lie…” blah. Blah. Blah.

          A Trans person can only ‘control’ her body for so long before depression kills her. A Trans person can only ‘conform’ for so long before the cognitive dissonance kills her. When a pastor or someone such as yourself uses those trite phrases about ‘praying hard enough’ or ‘having more faith’ the simple truth is that you have no more idea what torture a Trans person suffers than a hamster does of jet engines. Bluntly said, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and it’s real easy to tell someone how to bathe a bear as long you’re not in the cage with it.

          Please read these last few sentences very, very carefully and please try to remember what they say: Too often, the only hope for help, a degree of peace, a simple touch of reassurance a Trans person feels is in his or her church. They run to G-d, seeking solace because their classmates abuse them, their parents and siblings abuse – if they haven’t already been kicked out of their home – people on the street abuse them, the police victimize them, EMS employees let them die instead of trying to save their life after they’ve been beaten and stabbed, and the only place these broken people, these hurting, empty, hopeless human beings – all a child of the I AM – can find any glimmer of goodness is in a church. And then along comes a pastor or an elder or just some self-righteous busybody and orders them to leave those oh-so-holy precincts because they “aren’t right with G-d”; “We don’t allow your kind in here”; “You can come, but only on our terms”. And as the voice echoes harshly throughout the sanctuary, the hope, that tiny guttering flame of supplication, flickers and winks out. Adonai did not kick me out of my church; Yeshua did not kick me out of my church; the elders did not kick me out of my sanctuary, my place of peace, hope, faith and love…you did. Your words. Your empty rhetoric with which your branded me with the likeness of the mark of Cain, stole my hope, strangled my praises, stripped away any shred of humanity and the likeness of Yeshua. And as I slowly trudged away, my heart smashed, my faith shattered, any scrap of self-worth I might have held close fell away and left an empty, hopeless shell, convinced that she was too filthy, too evil, too just wrong for salvation. So, she steps in front of a train, steps off a high bridge, overdoses on purpose or shoots herself through the head.

          And every single solitary one who ever denied her the beauty of worshipping our King bears equal measures of guilt for her death.

          Please try to keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to tell someone they haven’t enough faith to be healed or they’re “too wicked” to take a pew in your sanctuary. Please try to remember that when you steal that tiny, guttering wisp of hope from a person’s heart, you are the one who will bear the guilt of having driven that person to death.

          Sincerely and in Yeshua’s love,
          Shalom Aleichem
          Stefani M.

          • Stefani. Amen to your words and Salaam and Shalom to you sister in Christ.

          • Stefani Madison

            January 23, 2016 at 2:46 am

            Thank you so much, Alaina. I was afraid I had been a bit too blunt and aggressive.

            May our Father bless you!
            Shalom,
            Stefani

          • ckratzer

            January 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

            Stefani, thanks for reading my article and for your powerful words, well said!

          • Stefani Madison

            January 23, 2016 at 3:08 am

            Pastor;

            First, I thank you for allowing my rather blunt post to appear. Second, and of much greater importance, I thank you for this forum and of greatest value, thank you for your recognition that Transfolk are no less loved by our Lord because of our gender issues than anyone else. Thank you for knocking a tiny chink in the wall of hatred that separates ‘normal’ people from those in the LGBT communities. That tiny chink admits a ray of love and truth about us, and I have faith that eventuallythat wall shall be pierced over and over again until the full light of agapé love will illuminate the darkest corners the LGBT community dwells in.

            Thank you and may the Lord continue to bless with discernment.

            Shalom,
            Stefani

          • ckratzer

            January 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm

            the honor is all mine. So glad to connect with you.

          • Stefani. Christians like me who have lived their lives in ignorance of the deep pain and rejection felt by LGBTQ persons in the church need to hear the blunt truth. I just recently had the eyes of my heart opened to the reality that our Saviour loves, accepts and celebrates his dear children in this community. Bless you, Sis.

          • Dear Paul;

            The humble tone of your reply to my post is beautiful. That such humility compels me to comment on it surely must signal the slow demise of humility as a Christian trait. My comments could have provoked an argument, your condemnation, even a bit of everyday grumpiness, but there is none of that in your reply and that makes me feel slight chagrin that my post was somewhat antagonistic in tone despite my attempt to keep that out. The short and simple is: Your response was one of the most amazing displays of humility and patience that I’ve seen in a very long time, and it makes my heart swell in joy. Not only because I was fearful of receiving the digital version of a nuclear weapon, but because you displayed a Christ-like attitude in your simple admission of your lack of knowledge of the LGBTQ community. I hope you will understand when I say that my expectation of antagonism has, I fear, become habitual because antagonism is the frequent response Trans people get from the “straight” public – sadly it is nearly the only interaction we see from Christians, regardless the denomination. So, I applaud your spirit and give you my deep gratitude for the delightful fashion in which you answered me. Thank you!

            I also have an admission to make. Your reference to ignorance about the LBGT community on the part of so many Christians gave me a sharp jolt of reality because, in truth, I have never really considered the likelihood of simple ignorance about who we are as being the cause of hostility that we are frequently exposed to. It opened my eyes and has now become one of the many things I will be cognizant of in future dealings with hostile Christians. I thank you for that mild rap on the knuckles.

            Sir, I would absolutely love to hear about your recent eye-opening experience, if you are inclined to share it. I ask for this reason: how can I, as a low-profile activist for the Transgender community, open the eyes and hearts of so many Christians who dismiss us as hell-bound heathen sexually predatory freaks. And those are some of the nice names we’re called!

            As nearly all Transgender people are aware, education is our only hope of ever being accepted by society in the main. If I can show one person that most Transgender people are actually much like anyone else in society, then through the ripple effect, how many other people would stop being our enemies and become our allies? Perhaps what you experienced to cause your change of heart is something I can slip into my own tool kit.

            The final thing I wish you to know is that through this forum or any other we can use, I happily volunteer my services as a source of information to anyone who wishes to develop a better understanding of just who Transgender people are. As you may know, the acronym “LGBTQI” stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersexed”, but I consider myself something of an expert in only a single letter of the acronym: T. None of the other letters describe me and, in fact, I’m completely celibate. I don’t belong to any LGBTQI organizations, I don’t wear rainbow clothing or jewelry, attend “Pride” events nor do I have any interest in doing so. I have no hidden agenda, no scurrilous intent and I don’t want to recruit anyone – an absurd notion at best. What I am doing, as opportunity presents itself, is debunking the lies spread about Transgender people, and telling the truth about who and what we are and try to open the eyes of whomever will sit still long enough to listen. I’ve been asked to discuss Trangender issues at in-service training venues for two hospitals, I speak each year for the Transgender Day of Remembrance – basically a memorial service for Transgender people who have been murdered or commit suicide during the previous calendar year.

            My second greatest desire is to be instrumental in the education of anyone who wants to know who we are because I have a few vested interests in the matter: I don’t want to be discriminated against, assaulted or murdered; I want people to be aware of our needs as productive citizens; I want Christians to understand that we are not filthy creatures preying on the innocent. My first greatest desire is to see Yeshua, the Messiah, and fall on my face at His feet!

            I’ll stop tormenting you with this essay now, but please allow me to first say that I’m so very thankful for your response to my post and to further thank you for opening my eyes.

            May our Father, Adonai Shalom, bless and keep you safe and well. Thank you for slogging through this.

            Shalom Aleichem!
            Stefani M.

          • Stefani, your response to my post only serves to underline the power of grace and love to bring deeper understanding to any human issues we face. I thank God for the impact of my words on you and pray a continual deepening of your sense of our Abba’s pleasure in you.
            My revelation of Christ’s love for LBGTQI persons couldn’t really happen without an earlier powerful revelation.
            Let me start by saying that I am 71 years old and have been a believer in Christ for 45 years. I have experienced his tangible love many times over the years. I have struggled with many personal issues finding little relief as I’ve tried to grow in holiness. About 4 years ago I began to hear about grace in a new way. One day at 6:00 am I was taken to Romans 6:6 where I realized that my sinful nature died with Christ. I cried and laughed and shouted with unfettered joy. My days of trying to please God and become more holy were over. I began a journey of deepening revelation that my Daddy was tickled pink with me and it wasn’t my fault. I saw that we are all his perfect and complete children whether we know it, believe it, or want it. There is no in or out. We are all in. Our behaviour is not a ticket to God’s love. God is love. There is no condemnation for anyone because Jesus chose not to judge but to save. Now i could go on and on with this scandalous message of God’s outrageous love for pages and pages but you catch my drift.

            So for the last few years the implications of this gospel of Grace (which I believe is the only gospel) for me personally and for others have been nothing short of astounding. Christ is the one in whom all of humanity moves and has its being. When I look at anybody, whether she knows or believes it, Christ is in her. Faith is simply awakening to the fait accomplis of the Cross totally without our help. it’s been said that “the saints were home before they started” and that “before we were lost in Adam we were found in Christ.”
            You see, we have always been the apple of Abba’s eye, We just needed our eyes reopened to who we really are. We are lovely no matter what we think, say or do.
            This revelation of Mr. Grace (Jesus) and his happy Father continues to carry me on an adventure that is awesome!

            Now in this context of discovering God’s crazy love for me and others I came across Chris Kratzer’s post coming out as a gay loving pastor. As I read that post I began to weep from a very deep place in me and sensed the heart of Jesus filling me with love for my LGBTQI brothers and sisters.(not just Christians but all God’s hurting children). Some have posted that it just an emotional response of straight Christians to embrace unconditionally gays, etc. I can’t sustain something like this on emotion. I have had and continue to have a deep and growing sense of the truth of God’s love for all His LGBTQI children celibate or not. I can’t prove it but can only live out of what I know that I know. Love and grace to you precious sister.
            Paul

          • So as to not be misunderstood, none of us is too ill to not need a physician. Likewise none is too much a sinner or too righteous to not need Christ. None willing to repent should be shunned. All can repent and change, that is the beauty of Christ’s atonement. Don’t try to tell me that just because one sin is heterosexual and another is homosexual, that one can change and repent but the other cannot. We need to be helping each other learn to change/repent rather than accepting the lie that one cannot change.

          • ckratzer

            January 24, 2016 at 2:05 pm

            MVAA, I so appreciate your readership and willingness to have dialogue. It is evident that we are going to have to be willing to politely agree to disagree. First, the greek word for “repentance” has nothing to do with changed behavior or identity, it has only to do with a changed “mind.” Second, this change of mind is not created by man or by human intervention, but by the Grace and kindness of God alone. Shunning, punishment, condemnation and alike never made anyone Holy. Finally, sexual orientation is not a choice nor sin, period. It is not something that can or should be changed. This is where we fundamentally and foundationally disagree. I understand your resistance to even considering these thoughts, I was like you at one time. With that in mind, here are some suggestions. First, I would suggest you study how to rightly divide the scriptures between the covenant of Law and the new covenant of Grace. Articles on my blog and the writings of Steve McVey are great places to start. Second, I would suggest you build humble, genuine relationships with people of the LGBTQ community, truly washing their feet and listening to their souls and stories. Third, I would suggest you read everything you can regarding alternative understandings of the biblical passages used to condemn homosexuality. You can start with my blog post, “A Six Pack of Gay Affirmation…” and then google search other resources. After that, let’s get back together and have further dialogue and see where the Spirit leads. Blessings to you!

      • “An enemy has done this”
        The Lord is NOT the author of confusion.
        Loving the lgbt community with the love of Christ and accepting their lifestyle are two different things.

        • Correct, the Lord is not the author of confusion, which is why I fell on my knees and sought the Lord. He cleared up my confusion and answered my cries. An enemy did not tell me to love and accept my child, God did. My God is bigger than anything, especially my fears and confusion. I’m so thankful I serve a big God!

    • Shane, you are a good man. It is clear from your words and deeds that you care for people and treat everyone, regardless of their trials or problems, as children of God with divine potential. Don’t let people with unkind motives persuade you otherwise. Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you, but that still doesn’t mean one should condone any sin or lead anyone to accept sin as okay because I can’t change – that would be very unChristlike. He said “where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Many people seem to think if you hate an action someone does, that you therefore hate the person also, that thought process is flawed. Christ taught just the opposite. Thank you for your example of Christlike service and love to all.

      • MVAA – Do you honestly believe this woman Jesus rescued from her accusers never sinned again? That’s not the point of the story. The point is that only Jesus can rightly judge. The point is that Jesus, Who could’ve chosen to stone her, Himself, DID NOT. The Law commanded her to be stoned. The living WORD refused to stone her.

        In an earlier comment, you claim that one’s faith in Jesus would result in a change in sexual orientation. “We are here to learn that we CAN control our bodies and we CAN change, we just need to learn that we must have faith in Christ and do His will to gain the power to affect that change. I know that is not what you or probably anyone in the LGBTQ community reading this thread want to hear but it is the truth.” The truth according to whom? Of course we can CHOOSE to act or not act upon impulses, but no one chooses their sexual orientation. You’ve heard of Exodus, I’m sure – the reparative therapy organization that closed its doors due to its disingenuous claim of change for LGBT people. Telling people who want to change that they just need to up the ante on their faith and then change will occur is disingenuous – and dangerous.

      • Thanks, MVAA, for seeing my heart despite what may have been failed attempts at explaining what and why I believe.

    • ckratzer

      January 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Shane, thanks for reading my article and sharing your thoughts! I understand this is a tough issue, I have been through the entire process myself. The one thing you didn’t mention that you have done that I would strongly recommend you do, is to develop genuine relationships with people in the LGBT community, humbly and openly hearing their stories and looking into the depths of their souls. I don’t know anyone who has had a change of heart and mind about this issues simply by rereading bible verses or a book on the subject. Chances are, a non-affirming person will never have the humility and openness to truly ask the questions of the relevant bible passages, “did I read this right?” until you develop relationships and encounter these issues on a human, personal level. I would say, move beyond looking at this as an “issue” to be figured out and rather as people to understand. As I mentioned in the article, then the river or revelation of God’s affirmation will flow into your mind and heart. I deal with the relevant Bible passages here from that new perspective… http://chriskratzer.com/a-six-pack-of-gay-affirmation-the-bible-and-homosexuality-revisted/

      • Thanks, Chris. I appreciate the dialog. I have developed genuine relationships with people in the LGBT community but to bring that up when talking about this is like when a perceived racist says, “Yeah, I’ve even got a black friend.” Getting to know people who identify as gay, lesbian, whatever label they affix themselves, has helped me realize they are no different than me. But just because I know someone doesn’t mean that God’s Word has changed. What has always been sin is still sin. It doesn’t mean that I think any less of those in the LGBT community, whether they identify as Christian or not.

        I did read your post on the 6 passages and watched your sermon. There wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before and I would argue there is much more to it than that but arguing against your stance on the biblical validity of homosexuality is not the purpose of my reply.

    • ==> The following is all directed to the original article !!

      a) It’s no good just mixing up verses out of context… just to justify everything … and “love everybody”. The picture of cotton candy comes to mind…

      b) I don’t even need to be a Christian, to see that sex between the same sex is not natural. Also, it goes far beyond just sticking your ** into someone’s backside …There is a lot more perversions that go with this… It just needs common sense…

      c) The much you want to like them – so much they brag about their perversion and spit on you …

      d) We’re supposed to call people to repentance

      e) and – oh wonder – there is still a right and a wrong

      f) you should not be a pastor (the original poster!) if you don’t have the backbone to lead people into the truth (Hl. Spirit leads us into truth PLUS love is poured out into our hearts). No-one has to be and is unfriendly, you can tell the truth in a very gentle friendly way…

      Again – I’m referring to the article …

    • I’m gay and arrive at the same conclusion as you. I understand what this guy is doing and I’m glad he cares about the lgbt community. But, and with all due respect to him, if many are wrong about gay sex being sin; then why does he automatically become the Word of God in this matter? What makes him the voice of God anymore than any Chtistian who says it’s a sin? I believe in loving lgbt people. I mean I am gay; but you can live without agreeing with something. I didn’t choose my attraction but I am choosing what to do with it. I think it’s atrocious the way Christians have treated lgbt people in the past but that doesn’t mean we should without question throw everything out the window and say that it’s fine. We wouldn’t say that to an alcoholic, drug addict, Sex Addict, etc.

      • Thank you. This has been my whole point. Just because Christians have treated LGBT people horrifically in the past doesn’t mean the pendulum has to swing all the way in the other direction. It seems to correct things people always go to the other extreme rather than find a balance.

  2. This, was hard to read. It has been a little over a year since the last time I attempted suicide to spare my family the retribution of the church. (post hormone therapy I am no longer suicidal) The decision to live was not an easy one knowing what losses were ahead; and the resulting fallout and demonization still haunts me. It was only the witness of a few loving Christians who told me that I was beautiful as God made me that kept me from complete despair. Their love was multiplied in me. I cannot emphasize enough how important the witness of other Christians is in the life of those who have been hurt by the church from the inside. This is everyone’s problem, because you never know who among you is suffering. If you stay silent you may not know until it’s too late.

    Thank you Chris for this plea.

  3. Chris Katzer – false teacher who compromises God’s word…tickling the ears of the deceived.

    • Well, I’ll tell you this: My ears are anything BUT ‘tickled.’ It would’ve been a lot easier for me to believe that my child’s sexual orientation could be changed than to come to the difficult realization (after YEARS of prayer and deep study) that it could not. I went kicking and screaming into this understanding.

      If you want to talk about compromising God’s Word, then let’s talk about Jesus (God’s WORD) for a moment. We compromise JESUS every time we tell LGBT people that they must change. You think they haven’t tried that? You think they’ve not prayed for years, been to reparative therapy – which has proven itself to be a harmful sham, and even tried to kill themselves because God has not changed them? God is not in that business. God changes hearts, and when we stand on the side of straight, heteronormative privilege and deem LGBT people as flawed and sinful for something the did not choose and cannot change, then WE are compromising the Word of God.

      Secondly, Scripture commands us to stone adulterers and our disobedient children, never cut our hair, forego shellfish, and for women to cover their heads in worship while subsequently shutting our mouths. Are we compromising God’s Word because we no longer follow those proscriptions? Why are we outraged when some countries in the Middle East DO follow them? Hmm.

    • Mark, I think you meant “itching” ears. And believe me, my ears were not itching for words to change my beliefs. I wanted to hear what I had been taught all along. I wanted my previous beliefs to be right, and for my child to be wrong. Changing what one believes is not easy at all. I do not understand why this verse is bandied about and thrown at someone everything they decide they were wrong. NO ONE has prayed more about this issue than a mother with an LGBTQ child. Non one. It was NOT easy to change how I believed, but after praying and beseeching the Lord and hearing His voice, I did. It wasn’t easy. But attacking someone as a false teacher and accusing hime of compromising God’s word apparently is.

  4. To suggest that Jesus died for us all so that we may remain what we are twists the Gospel so much as to snap it in two. John 3:16 does not say, ” For God so loved AND AFFIRMED the world…” He loves us, but no part of Scripture – NO PART – teaches us that He does not expect us to change. I have had to change, and I have not stopped. I slip, but I turn to Him for forgiveness.

    This polemic is not a Chist-affirming statement but a man-affirming one. It is an accusation fed by the writer’s own past rather than any knowledge of those to whom he writes. Full of vitriol to anyone who isn’t lock step with his views, this letter at one turn chides, then begs us to go against all orthodoxy so that we may please the culture.

    Never mind that the militant arm of the homosexual movement would have all Christians not just silenced but shut down completely. At the least, forced to go against their beliefs to appease the desires of others. Never mind that most Christians paid very little attention to the homosexual movement until the past few years when militancy made sure we had to. I grew up in the church and never heard a single sermon on homosexuality until last year. Not because there were none where I loved, but because their lives had no impact on ours. Just as ours had no impact on them. I knew homosexuals in high school and in college. I was friends with some of them. I did not chide them, and they knew who I was and what I believed. We were still friends. It was not me who ended the friendships that no longer exist. It was the militancy that grew in the homosexual movement that made them believe that all Christians hated them. That we all wanted them condemned in some way or another.

    The problem is, the language is all wrong. Love does not equal affirmation. Caring for someone does mean we accept and encourage all that they do. I loved my brother deeply, but I never told him his alcoholism was a good choice. I never said his death because of alcohol was somehow my fault. Because it wasn’t. It was the choices he made to give in to a temptation he himself hated.

    It is not the fault of the other that one’s own problems eats away at them. My own addiction to pornography was no one else’s fault. But is God that gets me through.

    Some will read this and say that I am no better than any Christian who would condemn homosexuals. But I was condemned. My destination was death. It was not my own choices, or someone’s affirmation of who I was that got me out of it

    It was Christ who covered it up.

    God does not affirm sin, and to say so is more hateful than anything I could say in condemnation.

    • God does not alter sexual orientation, because our orientation – be it straight or gay – is not sinful. It just is, like eyes are blue, brown, or green, like some are right-handed and others left-handed. In the Middle Ages, people took Scripture out of context and burned lefties at the stake.

      Jesus healed what could be healed (leprosy, a woman with a blood issue, and epileptics, who were thought be demon-possessed. He challenged hearts on *choices* that were being made, such as adultery, greed, abuse, and even and especially religiosity).

      Being gay is not a choice. That myth needs to be blown to smithereens once and for all.

      • Exactly. If it were a choice, there would be a lot fewer gay people. Who are we to spit on God’s creation? If they are gay, there is a reason. If we don’t understand it, so be it. We are not to ever understand the mind of God, we are just to have faith that His will be done. Those who would deny his beloved children equal rights, dignity and a place at the table, will have to explain to God one day that they chose to believe a few lines in a book rather than welcome His children into the church family. That will be an interesting conversation. What Chris gets is that we are called to err on the side of love. Jesus was very clear: Love God, then love each other. That’s it. He didn’t say love each other unless… he said LOVE, and the rest will follow. Why don’t these people trust him? A poor and fearful faith.

        • Christ is to be the source of all life and love in the life of a believer. Sex and physical pleasures are added to those who love and follow after the Kingdom FIRST. SEEK YE FIRST the kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. A Christian is not defined by their sexual orientation but by their adherence to GOD’s COMMANDS.

          • ckratzer

            January 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

            Sean, Christians (and all people) are not defined by their performance, but by Christ’s performance on the cross. We are not our own righteousness, He is. I invite you to look through my blog for articles that truly explain this Gospel revelation, in prayer that you will receive it.

  5. This article didn’t address any of the relevant Scripture, which is fine. We all know the verses. The problem for the “LGBT-affirming” folks is that there are ZERO affirmations or positive examples of gay practice in the Bible. There are the negative passages, which they attempt to neutralize, but once they are finished ‘splaining away all the passages against homosexual behavior, they are left with a Bible that doesn’t address homosexual behavior at all. It’s then not possible to balance that with a view of the sufficiency of Scripture- because some key facet of humanity that afffects 2-5% of us all, and did so in Biblical times, was (in their view) completely overlooked. That just doesn’t make any sense.

    • ckratzer

      January 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Greg, thanks for reading my blog and sharing your comments. I address the relevant bible passages here… http://chriskratzer.com/a-six-pack-of-gay-affirmation-the-bible-and-homosexuality-revisted/

      • What about Matt 19:4-6? Jesus is affirming the intended design for marriage and sexuality, which in turn means stay single and celibate or married and faithful to someone of the opposite gender.

        Also in your link (gay affirmation) you neglected Matthew 15:19-20. Now in this the Greek word is porneia, which is used a lot in the NT. Looking at the meaning of porneia you get “of every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse fornication, sexual immorality, prostitution (1C 5.1); (2) when distinguished from adultery (μοιχεία) in the same context extramarital intercourse, sexual immorality, fornication (MT 15.19); (3) as a synonym for μοιχεία (marital) unfaithfulness, adultery (MT 5.32); (4) metaphorically, as apostasy from God through idolatry (spiritual) immorality, unfaithfulness (RV 19.2)” [Taken from the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament] which would include homosexuality.

        Now, all this to say, if you turn someone away from your door based on their current sexual orientation you are missing the second greatest commandment “Love your neighbor” Matt 22:39. If your church isn’t open to all, then you need to step back and remember why we all need the church. We are all sinners, we are all burdened by this world and we all need the love of God and fellow Christians to get through it.

        On a side note, a great resource to check out is Sam Allberry, pastor and author of Is God Anti-Gay. His site actually has a good write up that counters all 6 verses that ckratzer mentions in the post he’s likned a couple times.

      • What about Matt 19:4-6? Jesus is affirming the intended design for marriage and sexuality, which in turn means stay single and celibate or married and faithful to someone of the opposite gender.

        Also in your link (gay affirmation) you neglected Matthew 15:19-20. Now in this the Greek word is porneia, which is used a lot in the NT. Looking at the meaning of porneia you get “of every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse fornication, sexual immorality, prostitution (1C 5.1); (2) when distinguished from adultery (μοιχεία) in the same context extramarital intercourse, sexual immorality, fornication (MT 15.19); (3) as a synonym for μοιχεία (marital) unfaithfulness, adultery (MT 5.32); (4) metaphorically, as apostasy from God through idolatry (spiritual) immorality, unfaithfulness (RV 19.2)” [Taken from the Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament] which would include homosexuality.

        Now, all this to say, if you turn someone away from your door based on their current sexual orientation you are missing the second greatest commandment “Love your neighbor” Matt 22:39. If your church isn’t open to all, then you need to step back and remember why we all need the church. We are all sinners, we are all burdened by this world and we all need the love of God and fellow Christians to get through it.

        On a side note, a great resource to check out is Sam Allberry, pastor and author of Is God Anti-Gay. His site actually has a good write up that counters all 6 verses that ckratzer mentions in the post he’s linked a couple times.

  6. Sorry, I didn’t read all you wrote. I scanned first to see what authority you wrote from because everyone seems to have have an opinion. So, Chris, I looked to see what authority you are speaking from. You claim to be a pastor, so are you the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous, one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence, not a novice, and yes, blameless. If these attributes qualifies you to be a pastor, I will look at what you have to say on this topic. Otherwise, you have the right to express your opinion, but not while claiming to be a leader of God ‘s people. The leader of God’s people meets these qualifications found in I Timothy 3.
    Since I only scanned your text, I didn’t find a single Biblical reference (at least not identified as such). This lessened my desire to see what you wrote after all – everyone seems to have an opinion.
    Sorry if this all sounds judgmental and bad, but even Jesus appealed time and time again to the written word and to the Higher authority.

    • “Sorry if this all sounds judgmental and bad, but even Jesus appealed time and time again to the written word and to the Higher authority.”

      You accuse Chris of not appealing to Scripture, yet you seem to forget that the higher authority to which Jesus appealed was love. How many laws did Jesus break in order to love and serve others? Many. Scripture is replete with stories of Jesus crossing that line, just as David did when he encouraged his military men to eat the showbread in the Temple.

      • A review of scripture such as Matthew 7:13-14,20-21 would indicate that you are not correct. Jesus did appeal to a higher authority – to the One who sent Him, His Father. Jesus did teach love – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15).” But, does not address the question of the authority from which Chris speaks. But, the above reply is not accurate, according to the Bible – didn’t Jesus come to “fulfill the law?” Answer, the question as to authority, please.

        • Yes, Jesus came to fulfill the law, which He boiled down to what is recorded in Matt. 22:37-40: 37.

          “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

          All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments: There’s the authority.

          • Yes, Jesus did say that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Yet, did He not define love as obeying His commandment in John 14:15. In other words, we can say all we want that we love Him, but if we don’t obey Him it is not love. Is this not the same thought as He expressed in Matthew 7:21 where He said – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” We can do “good” things, as He illustrates in verse 22 – prophesy in His name; cast out demons in His name; and in His name perform many miracles – yes, maybe even love our fellowman ‘in His name,’ but if we do not love Him and obey Him we are nothing. So, the issue boils down to love depends on obeying Him. But, back to the question, which has not been answered – by what authority does Chris publish as a pastor for God’s people? Is this a title claimed or does he meet the qualifications found in God’s Word? Sorry, but there are too many people today who claim to speak for God who do not meet the qualifications He has given.

    • I would also add that your self-righteous judgment is off the charts. A better place to start – the best place – is with love.

      • You are right about the “self-righteous judgment.” If you will notice the first sentence, I addressed that. I am sorry you took offence at that. However, the reply did not address the question as by what authority Chris claims to be a pastor? Does he meet the qualifications of I Timothy 3? Anyone can claim a title. So, to clarify Chris’ post as a pastor, is this merely a title or does he meet the Biblical qualifications for this position within the Biblical identified kingdom Christ established?

      • Thank-you for the reply. I think you are right about love and obedience is the best starting place. Just as I John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false spirits have gone out into the world.” No disrespect is intended. My question in response to Chris’ message is by what authority does he claim to the title “pastor”? Does he meet the Biblical qualifications as found in I Timothy 3? This is a simple question, without judgment but with love. For, simply following God’s Word requires one to be like the Bereans who were noted for searching out the Word of God to ensure what the Apostle Paul taught was correct (Acts 17:11).

        • I am puzzled. The original question that was posted a week ago has not been answered. What credentials does Chris have to the title of pastor? This is a simple question. Yet, one that has not been answered during this week. Is there a reason for this?

          • ckratzer

            January 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm

            Caleb, I appreciate you and your reading of my blog. I also respect your views regardless of how I may disagree with them. With all due respect, I don’t typically answer baiting questions that lead to foolish arguments. Whether I am “credentialed” to be a pastor in your opinion based on your understanding of 1 Timothy is irrelevant. Only God knows my heart, qualifications, ministry, calling, and character. Your window into my life and ministry is highly limited, and chances are, no matter what my response would be, by the simple fact that I have differing theological, biblical, and spiritual views than you, you would insist upon my disqualification. I appreciate your question. Thank you.

    • ckratzer

      January 18, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Caleb, thanks for sharing your comments. I address the biblical, relevant passages here… http://chriskratzer.com/a-six-pack-of-gay-affirmation-the-bible-and-homosexuality-revisted/

  7. Hi Shane,

    I’m an openly gay Christian and have a few words I’d like to say that you’ve probably heard before, but I’ve heard the whole gay sex is sin thing countless times. We all have – LGBT and straight alike.

    Through much research, praying, and a suicide attempt I only survived by the grace of God, I’ve found that Christ loves me exactly as I am – and no, he doesn’t see anything going on between my amazing wife and I as sin. Despite anything the bible says, I have felt God’s presence and affirmation of me as a person.

    That being said — not everyone is as lucky as I have been in finding Christ and rejoicing in His redeeming love. Comments telling people what they’re doing in their lives is sin, plain and simple, and they need to stop – these are the things that lead to pain and unnecessary suffering. It is never a person’s job to inform someone they are sinning – I think God can do that just fine. After all, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, right?

    You can reply to this telling me I’m wrong and my feelings are wrong, and it won’t affect them. But few people are as lucky as I am to have an unshakeable faith in my Savior in which anyone’s unsolicited comments don’t get to me anymore.

    Us LGBT people, Christian or otherwise, are all children of God – and we plead with you to see as as such before passing us off entirely as sinners in need of saving. Honestly, telling us you love us and are heartbroken at the suicide rate and all the pain doesn’t mean quite as much when prefaced with, “But it’s still sin, and I know it is.” That’s fine, you are entitled to your opinion, and I’m not saying you’re wrong. All I’m saying is, there has been enough hate going around that reaffirming your position is unnecessary and hurtful.

    I feel sorry you have missed the point of this article, I got choked up reading it and wish it was around for me 5 years ago.

    Take care, and may God bless you.

    • ckratzer

      January 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Sarah (anonymous), thanks so much for reading my article! I hope we can stay connected, if we aren’t friends already on fb, let’s be friends! https://www.facebook.com/chris.kratzer

    • Thanks for sharing your heart with me, Sarah.

      We are all sinners in need of saving. You can read hate into what I say even if none is there. Whether you believe it or not, I can believe that sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin, and still feel for the pain people are going through, whether they are in an unmarried couple who lost a baby, a polygamist family who have to run from the law because they want to be married, or a young homosexual man who is suicidal. I can love each one and serve each one without approving of whatever sin they are guilty of. If you are curious as to how that’s possible it’s because I’m guilty of my own sins and I am no better.

      From what I read of Chris’ post, it was an appeal to emotion trying to make people who believe that sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin change their mind. I appreciate what he had to say but it was not enough to make me change my stance on this biblical point. If your foundation is so weak that an emotional appeal can sway you, you better take a good hard look at why you believe what you do. I’m confident I get the point of the post.

      I wish God’s blessings on you, Sarah.

      PS – The reason I say sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is sin rather than just LGBT or homosexuality is because I don’t think same sex attraction is sin, it’s our actions. Just wanted to clarify that.

  8. I can honestly say that I have never treated another human being in my life like durt. I grew up in the south and the churches and family tried to teach me to hate. I would tell them that God made us all and no one is different. I have an will always treat people with kindness. Call me crazy but God teaches Love not hate. As long as two people love each other why should it matter.

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